Dinesh Karthik's performances in warm-up games and the main series

Dinesh Karthik’s performances in warm-up games and the main series

Karthik now is the first choice keeper for the Indian team in Tests.

Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Dinesh Karthik is currently considered the solution for one too many troubles concerning the Indian team across all the three formats. Karthik is likely to head into the 2019 World Cup as a proper middle-order batsman who can be an accumulator with his experience. In the longer format, he could well be Team India’s preferred wicketkeeper-batsman in the absence of Wridhhiman Saha and in fact take over otherwise as well. The interesting part is that Karthik was nowhere in the reckoning for a spot in any Indian squad for nearly three years until mid-2017.

A record-breaking List A season backed by a good first-class record helped him return to India’s ODI and T20I squads ahead of the Champions Trophy. He grabbed the opportunities he got and scored runs whenever he got a chance to bat. The Nidahas Trophy final and his performances while leading the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2018 IPL does make him a reliable player. Coming into the Test series against England, Karthik will be India’s first choice keeper.

Saha, who has been outstanding over the last couple of years with his glove work, often underplayed with the bat. As a result, Ravichandran Ashwin used to bat ahead of Saha at No.6 or No.7 in this format. Karthik might not be a perfect replacement for Saha in terms of keeping but surely will provide batting depth with his ability to score big runs at any position. Karthik scored a 95-ball 82 in the warm-up game against Essex and he was the top scorer for the Indian team.

However, it will be too early to judge Karthik’s future based on just one knock as the keeper-batsman has a pattern where he underperforms after getting good runs in the warm-up matches. The only time he replicated his warm-up matches performance was during the 2007 Test tour of England. Karthik was the top-scorer for his team during the 3-match Test series that India won. The team management will be hoping he replicates such performance this time around as well.

Here is how Dinesh Karthik fared in the warm-up games and subsequent series or the tournament: